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South Texas Living

Life has been an adventure for centenarian

Life has been an adventure for centenarian
Lela Rosenberg, 107, enjoys a gift of flowers to mark her April 12 birthday.

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May 14, 2014
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Lela Buford Williamson Rosenberg is celebrating 107 years of life.

The mother of Wilson County law practitioner Louis T. Rosenberg and his sister, Laura Henson, Lela was born April 12, 1907, to Thomas Sheppard Williamson and Annie Laura West in Barstow, Texas. She recently celebrated her birthday by receiving a proclamation presented by the city of Yoakum and delivered in person by Mayor Anita R. “Annie” Rodriguez.

Lela has led a remarkable and adventurous life.

While a young teenager on the family ranch near the Texas/Mexico border, Lela hid her younger sisters from a group of Pancho Villa’s bandits as they descended on the property, looking for easy pickings.

She was only the 98th student to enroll at Sul Ross University. She later taught home economics in Del Rio, supplementing her income by working in the five-and-dime store.

After responding to an ad for teachers, Lela became a home economist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the White River Apache Indian reservation. She spent her time on many reservations, aiding and teaching the Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Apache tribes throughout Arizona and New Mexico.

It was on a reservation that Lela met the man of her dreams, Samuel Rosenberg from the Bronx, who worked as the superintendent of schools. They were married Dec. 25, 1938, and later were blessed with their two children.

Today, Lela continues to influence, inspire, and teach everyone as she has all her life.

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